“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile – hoping it will eat him last.” – Winston Churchill

Dear Readers,

The fatal attack on the US capitol in Washington DC by a mob incited by the sitting President Donald Trump as well as some of his political allies, in an attempt to halt the democratic rule of law over the legitimate election of Joe Biden, sent shock waves around the world.

Not only did it give a huge propaganda coup to those nations led by dictators and autocrats who pay scant regard to democratic values, but also endangered those nations whose democracy is fragile and under pressure. If the US President can reject his country’s own democratic process, after a multitude of legal challenges instigated at Trump’s behest by his political allies that had all come to nought, then the credibility of the US to espouse future moral leadership and democratic values has been wrecked for some time to come – perhaps even decades.

Add this to the Administration’s marginalisation of long term foreign policy strategists together with the decline of apolitical professional diplomats, and the result is the reduction of government to government personal relationships around the world leading to a much lighter ‘finger on the pulse’ when trying to identify security challenges as they develop.

The challenge to the new Biden Administration is one of re-engagement, particularly with smaller allies who have been marginalised over the last four years. This will take the whole of the US Government to work together to restore international confidence and respect in America that has been so seriously damaged by the 45th President.

Editor

NATO EXPLORES GAMIFICATION TO HELP PLAYERS UNDERSTAND MULTI-DOMAIN COMPLEXITIES

Did anyone play games over the festive season? NATO Science is exploring a new concept called Gamification. Simply put, it is “is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts.”

NATO’s Science and Technology Organisation (STO) has teamed up with cognitive and behavioural scientists at Atılım University in Turkey to game a variety of scenarios virtually. The objective is to generate challenges through real-life scenarios which will encourage participants to question more and explore different solutions.

NATO scientist Berke Çaplı explains: “Imagine a mega-city divided into zones of ethnicity attacked by unmarked paramilitary forces. Whatever NATO forces may use to stabilise the situation – cyber, information or kinetic – will have consequences for the population.” Game moderators then use software with an algorithm that predicts the effects of each action, such as a riot, and established a crisis metre. “The game is designed to manage the crisis and restore stability,” he said. But it is the reaction of the players that is closely monitored. “NATO needs people asking questions that they haven’t asked before.”

The research project is owned by SAS-129 Research Task Group on Gamification of Cyber Defence/Resilience, and is part of the STO’s multi-national collaborative work programmes.

There have already been a number of demonstrations and prototype testing of the game at a variety of venues including: the National Informatics Congress in Ankara, Turkey; the Command and Staff College of the German Armed Forces in Hamburg, Germany; Strategic Reconnaissance Command Grafschaft, Germany; Turkish General Staff Partnership for Peace Training Centre in Ankara, Turkey; the Land Training Centre in Amersfoort, Netherlands; and at the NATO Operations Research and Analysis Conference in Ottawa, Canada.

The benefits derived by participants of this activity will include a more comprehensive understanding of military objectives and activities set in a hybrid environment.

According to NATO, “this research effort focuses on developing a wargame to change the current military mindset towards a more multi-domain approach and enable a motivational learning environment for non-technical personnel on the use of the information domain (cyber, cognitive and electromagnetic) in near-future operations.”

US NAVY SUPER HORNETS STRIKE AL SHABAAB TERROR GROUP IN NEW YEAR RAIDS

US Africa Command started the new year with a number of air strikes on members of the al-Shabaab terrorist group at locations within Somalia.

On New Year’s Day, two airstrikes targeted al-Shabaab compounds in the region around Qunyo Barrow, Somalia. Assessments show that several suspected terrorists were killed or wounded and that al-Shabaab buildings and compounds were either destroyed or damaged.

Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (al-Shabaab) is a fundamentalist Islamic terrorist group based in East Africa. it is suspected of having links with Al Qaeda and Boko Haram. it is responsible for numerous terrorist attacks, one of the most infamous is the attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya, September 2013, where at least 71 people died.

A further airstrike was conducted on 7 January aimed at al-Shabaab leaders with reports that five suspected terrorists were killed, including the leaders who had been targeted.

“This strike targeted known al-Shabaab leaders who facilitated finance, weapons, fighters, and explosives. One is suspected of being involved in a previous attack against US and Somali forces,” said US Air Force Major General Dagvin Anderson, Joint Task Force – Quartz commander.

Joint Task Force – Quartz was supported in the operation by Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets from the Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 94, based on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) sailing in the Indian Ocean.

“Our strikes help keep these terrorists off balance to help our partners then address deeper problems such as governance and development,” stated Gen Anderson.

WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THE EUROPEAN SAILOR? …PUT HIM IN A CORVETTE

The Steering Board of the European Defence Agency (EDA) is moving ahead in its support of the development of a European Patrol Corvette (EPC). The implementation of a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) project will contribute toward the development of an EPC for the navies of Italy, France, Spain and Greece.

This would be a new class of naval vessel that would be adaptable through its modular design. Its strengths would include maritime situational awareness, surface superiority and power projection. It will incorporate common architecture to accommodate plug-and-play systems.

Specifications include a displacement of 3,000 tonnes and a shallow draft of less that 5.5 metres. Its length will be a maximum of 110m.

According to the EDA’s chief executive Jiří Šedivý: “The European Patrol Corvette project responds directly to an existing gap in Europe’s capability landscape acknowledged by Member States during the revision of the Capability Development Plan (CDP) in 2018.”

The first prototype design is planned to be ready around 2026-2027.

US MAJOR ARMS SALES (Defence Security Cooperation Agency – DSCA).

None published yet for 2021.

US GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

Highlighting a selection of $100 million+ government awarded contracts awarded between 4 – 8 January 2021 and Foreign Military Sales contracts.

8 January
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
US Foods has been awarded a $377 million IDIQ contract for full-line food distribution. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The contracting agency is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.

US NAVY
Alberici-Mortenson JV has received a $359 million modification contract for design-bid-build recapitalisation of the dry dock at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia. The work to be performed provides for concrete repairs in various locations throughout the dry dock; overhauling and repairing the steel caisson; and upgrading power distribution, chilled water and fire detection and alarm systems. The project will also repair corroded steel members of the dry dock superstructure, re-coat the entire superstructure and replace roof and wall panels. The project will remove one bridge crane and overhaul two other bridge cranes. The scope also includes rebuilding/replacing sluice gates and actuators, roller gate rails, flap valves and frames and all piping. This project will also upgrade control systems and electronic components and upgrade the auxiliary seawater system. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Southeast is the contracting activity.

US AIR FORCE
Hardwood Products has been awarded a $110 million commercial contract for industrial base expansion of US domestic production capacity for medical foam tip swabs. This contract is for the procurement of equipment and machinery to enable expanded production of foam tip nasal swabs. The Air Force Life Cycle Management is the contracting activity.

7 January
US ARMY
(Highest award of the day). Amentum Services was awarded a $68 million modification contract to provide undergraduate initial entry rotary wing and selected graduate course flight training, simulator flight training and flight academics. Work will be performed at Fort Rucker, Alabama. US Army Field Directorate Office is the contracting activity.

US NAVY
Boeing was awarded an $8 million modification agreement for the P-8A Poseidon in support of the government of the United Kingdom. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $1.2 million will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

6 January
US NAVY
(Highest award of the day). Raytheon received a $34 million IDIQ contract which provides engineering and test support services for the ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) currently in development for the Navy EA-18G aircraft. The scope includes H16/H18/H20/H22 software support for NGJ pod and integration including requirements analysis, design, development, integration, testing, training and tools related to and in support of ALQ-249 and advanced electronic warfare initiatives for Navy and Foreign Military Sales customers. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division is the contracting activity.

5 January
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Atlantic Diving Supply, doing business as ADS; Federal Resources Supply; Noble Supply; SupplyCore; Tactical Survival Specialties; and WS Darley are sharing a maximum $33 billion IDIQ contract for the fifth generation Special Operations Equipment (SOE) Tailored Logistics Support (TLS) program. The scope of work under the SOE TLS program includes the total logistics support for the special operational equipment requirements of Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) customers to include military installations, federal agencies, and other authorised DLA customers located worldwide. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.

US NAVY
Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems received a $731 million contract for engineering and technical services for Aegis in-service combat systems engineering, ship integration and test engineering, computer program maintenance, integrated logistics support and planning and in-country support for multiple international partners employing Aegis. This contract provides in-service lifetime support efforts, including engineering, technical and logistical support related to the maintenance and modernisation of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Aegis Combat System and Aegis weapon system equipment and computer programs. This contract involves FMS to Japan, Australia, Republic of Korea, Norway, Spain and Canada. Work will be performed in Moorestown, New Jersey (81 percent); Mount Laurel, New Jersey (seven percent); Changwon, Republic of Korea (two percent); Tokyo, Japan (one percent); Maizuru, Japan (one percent); Yokosuka, Japan (one percent); Nagasaki, Japan (one percent); Adelaide, Australia (one percent); and various other locations less than one percent each (five percent). FMS (Canada); FMS (Japan); FMS (Australia); FMS (Republic of Korea); FMS (Norway); and FMS (Spain) funding in the amount of $113 million will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

LTM is awarded a $124 million IDIQ contract to assist the Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) East Fleet Support Team with integration of Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) maintenance and supply functions, maintenance scheduling in accordance with NAE constructs, as well as provide logistics and technical support services. The Commander, FRC Procurement Group is the contracting activity.

Boeing is awarded a $20 million modification contract that adds new scope for integrated logistics support for 22 F/A-18E and six F/A-18F Super Hornets in support of the government of Kuwait. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $20 million will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.

4 January
US AIR FORCE
Lockheed Martin Space has been awarded a $4.9 billion modification contract which consists of all work associated with the manufacturing, assembly, integration, test, and delivery of three Next Generation Geosynchronous (NGG) Earth orbiting space vehicles (SV), and delivery of ground mission unique software and ground sensor processing software. Additionally, this modification includes engineering support for launch vehicle integration and launch and early on-orbit checkout for all three NGG SVs. Space and Missile Systems Center is the contracting activity.

Boeing has been awarded a $21 million contract action for F-15S to F-15SA conversion support. This contract provides support for the conversion of the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15S into an F-15SA aircraft, which includes program management, reach-back support for the 48 continental United States and Washington, D.C.; temporary on-site for outside the continental U.S. assistance (if needed); and round robin repairs. This contract involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.

US TRANSPORTATION COMMAND
Eastern Airlines received a contract for $284 million which provides door-to-door, time-definite, pick-up and delivery, transportation, timely and accurate shipment tracking, government third party payment system participation, customs clearance processing (if applicable) and shipment data reporting. This contract provides heavyweight delivery services for domestic and international shipments. US Transportation Command is the contracting activity.

EVENTS STILL CONFIRMED

No further event confirmations.

CANCELLED EVENT

No further cancellations advised.

Andrew Drwiega
Andrew Drwiega, Editor-in-Chief, Armada International / Asian Military Review.

Best wishes,

Andrew Drwiega

Editor-in-Chief
Armada International / Asian Military Review